Final Score: Mets 7, Cardinals 4
With injuries piling up yet again, this time to the rotation, the Mets were able to come through with a big win against the Wild Card leading St. Louis Cardinals. I’ve said many times that Terry and Sandy deserve some blame for many of the problems this team has had in 2016. But the players deserve the blame and credit most of all. And that’s why the Mets players deserve credit for an impressive win last night. It’s one game. They’re 3.5 games back of the Cards now in the Wild Card race. They need to keep winning and make a real statement.
Wounded Soldier: The Mets continue to generate evidence showing they are the most incompetent organization in baseball. Jon Niese stinks. Jon Niese had a knee injury that was known by the organization and the fans prior to last night’s game. The Mets could have easily put him on the DL or skipped his start. Instead they had him pitch, and of course in the first inning Niese had to leave the game with the aforementioned knee injury. He was placed on the DL after the game.
Private Gsellman: The Mets had previously promoted Triple-A starter Robert Gsellman to pitch out of the bullpen which was something he hadn’t done in years. Gsellman was forced to come in and pitch in long relief for Niese. Terry also left Niese in the game long enough to walk the one and three hitters and give up an RBI single to Brandon Moss. Then Gsellman came in and gave up an RBI double to Yadier Molina and an RBI ground out to Jhonny Peralta. Those runs tied the game at 3. Other than letting the Niese inherited runners score, Gsellman went 3.2 scoreless innings, and he was credited with the win.
Platoon Bombers: Before Niese fell apart, Wilmer Flores hit a three-run shot in the first inning. Justin Ruggiano also hit a solo shot in the fourth inning. Both homers came off of Cards lefty starter Jaime Garcia. The Mets lefty mashing platoon squad of Flores/Ruggiano is pretty impressive. As long as Terry makes the right matchup decisions, I’m totally fine with Team Platoon.
Seasoned Veterans: Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera each had 3 hits, and they both had RBI hits in the second inning. It’s nice to have two seasoned vets at the top of the order. All of a sudden with Reyes setting the table for Yoenis Cespedes, it feels like this team can actually score with runners in scoring position. The Mets were 5 for 10 in those spots last night. The Cardinals on the other hand seemingly left men on base every single inning.
Field General: In addition to his two hits, Yoenis Cespedes made stellar defensive plays including a home run robbery. He also ran hard and seemingly was limping around again. Terry denied this after the game, but I don’t believe him. Yo is banged up. He’s been banged up all season. The notion that Yo doesn’t play hard or that he selectively hustles is one of the most appalling and fabricated false narratives in professional sports.
Captain Blunder: Speaking of Terry making the right platoon decisions, in the 7th inning with runners on first and third and one out Terry pinch hit for Wilmer Flores. He chose to have James Loney face a lefty specialist instead of having Wilmer face the righty who was already in the game. It was the wrong call because Loney doesn’t hit lefties at all, and also he’s been terrible lately. He promptly hit into a double play. He did add an insurance RBI single in the 9th inning to make it 7-4 Mets, so I suppose he redeemed himself.
Man Down: Yesterday Steven Matz was placed on the DL with shoulder discomfort. Supposedly there’s no structural damage, and he’ll only miss one start. Remember when we were supposed to have 5 young aces? Well we’re down to 2.
Today: I don’t want to say tonight’s game is a must win. But with Jacob deGrom on the mound and Seth Lugo on Thursday, it’s a must win. Carlos Martinez is great too, but the Mets have to find a way to win this game.